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What is a Revocable Trust?

     A trust exists when one person (usually called the grantor or settlor) gives property to another person (called the trustee) to hold and mange for one or more persons (called the beneficiaries).  Under Ohio Trust Code, a revocable trust (sometimes also known as a 'living trust') is a trust that the grantor can amend (change) or revoke (cancel) during his or her lifetime.  A revocable trust can be funded with any property such as checking accounts, savings accounts, brokerage accounts, stocks and bonds, a home and other real estate.  Some revocable trusts can be funded initially, but rather at a later time or at the grantor's death.   FORBES LAW LLC can help advise when a trust should be funded and with what property.  The terms of a trust are described in a writing called the declaration of trust or trust agreement.  This document is usually signed by both the grantor and the trustee.  


Estate Administration


Estate Planning


Guardianship Procedure

The process of guardianship appointment begins by filing an application in the Probate Court of the county where the proposed ward resides.
~ The applicant must submit a Statement of Expert Evaluation that has been completed by a Licensed Physician or Clinical Psychologist with their application.
~ The applicant must obtain a background check and a Guardian of an estate must post a bond.
~ A Probate Court Investigator will visit the proposed ward and provide him or her with notice of the hearing and provide an independent assessment of the person alleged needing a guardian. The investigator files the Court Investigator Report, which is reviewed prior to the hearing.
~ A hearing will be scheduled and a determination will be made by the Probate Judge regarding the necessity of the guardianship and the suitability of the guardian.
~ The person alleged to be in need of guardianship has the right to be present at the hearing on the application for guardianship. At the hearing, they may provide information to the Court of a less restrictive alternative that is available, have a friend or family member join them at the hearing, have an independent evaluation performed by a court appointed expert, and be represented by an attorney.

The Probate Court is always the superior guardian, and all guardians must obey the orders of the Court. The Court exercises the supervisory authority through the several means: accountings, annual reports, citations, investigations, hearings, and sanctions when appropriate.

Guardianship. Probate Court. (2023, February 9). Retrieved February 18, 2023, from https://www.lakecountyohio.gov/probate-court/guardianship/ 

Living Wills, Health Care Powers of Attorney & Financial Powers of Attorney

What is a Living Will Declaration?  

     A living will is a legal document you can use to express your wishes about the use of life-sustaining treatment if you should become terminally ill or permanently unconscious. 

      An anatomical gift (such as a gift of organs or tissues) can be made upon your death by completing a related form attached to the living will titled Donor Registry Enrollment Form. 

What is a Health Care Power of Attorney?

     A health care power of attorney (or "durable power of attorney for health care," sometimes known as a "DHCPOA" or "health care proxy") is a legal document that authorizes another person to make health care decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself.

What is a Financial Power of Attorney?

     A financial power of attorney ("POA") is a legal document an individual (the 'principal') can use to appoint someone (the 'agent') to act on his or her behalf regarding personal, financial and business matters.  

     There are some other methods of keeping control over your affairs.  Please contact our office and we can tell you how a POD or TOD designation on your assets can help avoid the necessity of administering your estate through the Probate Court.

FORBES LAW LLC, in conjunction with HYATT/MetLife Legal Plans and U S Legal Service, are proud to provide covered services to individuals and their families employed at various NorthEast Ohio companies.

Civil Commitment

Civil commitments are legal proceedings in which the Lake County Probate Court orders a mentally ill individual into a facility for treatment. The term “mentally ill” is defined in R.C. § 5122.01 (A) as ” a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life.” The provisions of Chapter 5122 of the Ohio Revised Code govern civil commitments. The civil commitment process begins when an individual files an affidavit with the Lake County Probate Court. The affidavit must contain sufficient statements of fact to establish probable cause to commit the mentally ill individual to a facility.

Civil Commitment - Probate Court. (2021, April 15). Probate Court.  https://www.lakecountyohio.gov/probate-court/civil-commitment/


A conservatorship creates by statute a fiduciary relationship between one who is physically infirm but not mentally incompetent and a conservator. A conservatorship is based on the consent of the person for whom the conservatorship is to benefit. The conservator is either responsible for handling his or her Person, Estate, or Person & Estate.

Conservatorship - Probate Court. (2022, November 17). Probate Court.  https://www.lakecountyohio.gov/probate-court/conservatorship/

Adult Guardianship

There are three types of Guardianships of an incompetent adult

Guardianship of the Person: This is typically granted when the individual needs assistance meeting their personal needs.

Guardianship of the Estate: This is typically granted when the individual only needs assistance managing their assets.

Guardianship of the Person & the Estate: This is typically granted when the individual needs assistance with their personal needs as well as their assets.

A guardianship is a legal relationship established by the Probate Court where an individual (referred to as “the guardian”) has the authority and duty to care for another’s person or property due to the other person’s disability or incapacity.

RC 2111.01 (d)(1)  Any person who is so mentally impaired, as a result of a mental or physical illness or disability, as a result of intellectual disability, or as a result of chronic substance abuse, that the person is incapable of taking proper care of the person’s self or property or fails to provide for the person’s family or other persons. 


Non probate assets of the decedent may be transferred by contracts such as joint and survivorship property or payable on death accounts. Probate assets may be transferred through the Lake County Probate Court.  Administration of estate consists of making sure that probate assets are gathered, preserved, and allocated among the heirs of the decedent, beneficiaries, and/or creditors according to Ohio statute and decedent’s will.

Estate Administration - Probate Court. (2022, November 17). Probate Court. https://www.lakecountyohio.gov/probate-court/estate-administration/

Forbes Law LLC

166 Main Street

Painesville, OH 44077

V: (440) 739-6211

eFax: (850) 988-7066


Glenn E Forbes

Certified as a Distinguished 2023 Member of Lawyers of Distinction

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice     
You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

What is a Will?

     A will allows you to determine what should happen to your property upon your death, and permits you to name an executor who will be responsible for the administration of your estate. We will work with you to develop a customized estate plan to accomplish several goals, including:

  • Protecting assets from over-taxation
  • Documenting your wishes regarding your property
  • Preventing family disputes
  • Providing for your loved ones

     Through wills, trusts, living wills, advanced medical directives, and powers of attorney, we can develop a comprehensive and flexible estate plan for you.  See our Advanced Directives page for information on Living Wills, Durable Health Care Powers of Attorney and Financial Powers of Attorney.